Following its unpopular redesign, Snapchat has been struggling to gain users in the US. As a result, eMarketer has significantly downgraded its growth outlook for Snapchat in its latest US social usage forecast. For the first time, Snapchat will lose monthly US users this year, with growth expected to flatten in 2020.
It’s been exactly two years since Snap completed its very successful IPO. Snap had figured out how to reach the young people that Facebook was no longer capturing; investors hoped Snapchat would give Facebook and its stable of apps like Instagram and Messenger some legitimate competition.
Unfortunately for Snap, that hasn’t happened. In two years, the stock is down about 60 percent from the $24.50 price it closed at on its first day of public trading. It’s not a pretty slide.
Snap finally had a good day. You might even call it a great day.
That’s because, after a tough year in which Snap execs and investors watched the company’s stock price slowly bleed out because of government investigations, executive departures, and product issues, Snap reported better-than-expected earnings on Tuesday that shot the stock up more than 22 percent in after-hours trading.
The main reason: Snap’s business last quarter was stronger than anyone thought. Sales were up to a record $390 million, a 36 percent jump over the same quarter a year ago. And Snap is slowly moving toward profitability, a goal that CEO Evan Spiegel shared internally with Snap employees last year.
The number of Facebook users in the US will inch up 0.9% this year to 169.5 million. While growth has plateaued, Facebook is still the most used social network among all age groups, except for teens.
Here’s how the top social networks rank among the following age groups:
In 2016, Snapchat surpassed Facebook as the most popular social network among US teens. Snapchat will continue to add users ages 12 to 17, while Facebook will continue to lose users in that cohort. In fact, we estimate Snapchat will add 1.2 million new users in that age group by 2022, while Facebook will lose 2.2 million.
Snapchat has been more popular than Instagram among US teens for years. In 2018, 16.4 million 12- to 17-year-olds will use Snapchat, compared with 12.8 million for Instagram. Snapchat will remain dominant among teen users through 2022.
As eMarketer first reported in February, teen usage of Facebook is declining. This year, 11.5 million people in the US ages 12 to 17 will be on the platform, down from 12.1 million in 2017. By 2022, the number of Facebook users in that age bracket will drop to 9.3 million.
Snapchat’s charm offense with creators continues with the trial of creator-made stickers. This comes on the heels of the launch of Storytellers, a program launched last week that connects brands with top creators to make ad campaigns on Snapchat.
Last week, Geir Ove Pederson, aka Geeohsnap, launched the first creator-made sticker pack for Snapchat. It showed up when users clicked the star button within the sticker section of the app.
On July 29, Ketnipz, a popular cartoon created by Harry Hambley, appeared as a sticker pack. Hambley had previously worked with Instagram on a ketnipz sticker.
Also coming soon are sticker packs from Cyrene Quiamco, aka CyreneQ, whose pack features a character commonly featured on her snaps named Ele; Alex Richter, aka decalex, is creating one of calligraphy; Audrey Spencer, aka cakes1todough1, is launching a sticker pack of cats; and Mike Metzler, aka Metz044, made one of corgis, a common element of his Snapchat Stories.
“Being able to include our own branding as a native part of the platform is incredible for us creators. The fact that Snapchat is partnering with creators to roll this out is another way to show they are investing in the creator community,” Metzler said.